Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Planting Moonlight

Love in the Margins
—Poems and Photos by Joyce Odam, Sacramento, CA


To love is to want
Terribly and true
This want

The Kiss
The Vow
The You that is true

True as true can be  
Me,    Me,    is love’s cry

Me and You   
Oh, My Unfound One
Together we will be Love


                 …all is permitted
                       t h e   r o s e –
             splendor, a conspiracy of
              perfumes, petalous flesh
                that tempts the nose,
                   the lips, the teeth,
                         Col e t t e

Colette says a rose
is good enough for her,

like a dancing dress—
that all is permitted,
and she finds a small vase

for the heavy rose
which settles over the rim
and shifts

in your direction
as she talks about

how it is a conspiracy
that tempts—
and she looks at you

and bends to the rose
for its scent,
and the rose

exhales under her attention
as she brushes a petal
with her fingertips,

and the rose
leans into her hand
as if it loves her.


One who was love

came through my life, and left a wound for memory,
and left a love—bitter and sweet—and went away;

and left a sleep to fill with dreams that wreathed
like smoke—and turned to pleasure—and to pain;

one who was love—composite now—became unreal,
was never real, was never love.

(first pub. in Love’s Chance Journal, 2002)    



Darling, I love the lie upon your silken
mouth, your abstract kiss,
the practiced way you mold your syllables.

And I love the way you dwindle into pout
that I must coax with my own kiss
when you must pout me to your way.

And, Darling, I do believe the things you say,
though I watch your eyes, the way you
somehow twist in slight response

and fix your charm
upon me once again with one more lie
of love love love.

 After a Quarrel


Your words beat upon the silence
    like rain—

    like a thousand tears
    from dry eyes—
    that kind of weeping—
    that kind of pain.
    Oh, that I speak of pain

from my heart to yours
and only mine is breaking.
How cruel you are in this cold moment.

    How cruel.



How like a sorrow is our love,
ever wounded,
ever cruel,
with its little humor space,
with its cutting tool.

Love, your eyes are hot as hate
and mine are such an answer:
when we look,
and when we speak,
our hate is like a cancer.



In this age of partners—soul to soul
as mind to eye, eyes closed and open,

as mind to soul
and soul to mind—

love’s mystery resolved,
and fathomless still;

when self is truly unwound
to another self,

and each let in, feature by feature
in its most open

and seen for what it is :
the truth of itself.

Whatever this means
is what love is about.

It unwinds
in every direction and says:

See, I am open. Search through me.
There is nothing hidden.



It is not so much the expectation
as how things are :
cruelty comes first, and after.

What is left is in-between.
There is always one who will fail the other.
No equality here to make things easy.

There is a suffering to know, and disillusion.
If you can master these, you may
get through—value your scars—

show them proudly to each other—
even touch them lovingly,
and bless survival.


Today’s LittleNip:
—Joyce Odam

cold moment ringing over us
like stars singing down to us:
be cruel, be cruel, as we are . . .
be kind, be kind, as nothing is . . .
oh, we are so judged and wanting
and the darkness is so slow
how can we but praise
love planting moonlight in the snow


A big pre-Valentine's Valentine to Joyce Odam for today’s fine poems and pix, helping us celebrate those contradictions that we call love! Our new Seed of the Week is Secrets in the Fog. Send your poems—and don’t forget photos & artwork!—about this (or any other) subject to kathykieth@hotmail.com. No deadline on SOWs, though, and for a peek at our past ones, click on “Calliope’s Closet”, the link at the top of this column, for plenty of others to choose from.



"All is permitted the rose..."
—Anonymous Photo
(Celebrate the poetry of the rose!)

Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.